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Republic of Kazakhstan

Qazaqstan Respublikasy

former: Kazakh Soviet Socialist Republic

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Country name:
conventional long form: Republic of Kazakhstan
conventional short form: Kazakhstan
local long form: Qazaqstan Respublikasy
former: Kazakh Soviet Socialist Republic
local short form: none
Government type:
Astana; note - the government moved from Almaty to Astana in December 1998
Administrative divisions:
14 provinces (oblystar, singular - oblys) and 3 cities* (qala, singular - qalasy); Almaty Oblysy, Almaty Qalasy*, Aqmola Oblysy (Astana), Aqtobe Oblysy, Astana Qalasy*, Atyrau Oblysy, Batys Qazaqstan Oblysy (Oral), Bayqongyr Qalasy*, Mangghystau Oblysy (Aqtau), Ongtustik Qazaqstan Oblysy (Shymkent), Pavlodar Oblysy, Qaraghandy Oblysy, Qostanay Oblysy, Qyzylorda Oblysy, Shyghys Qazaqstan Oblysy (Oskemen), Soltustik Qazaqstan Oblysy (Petropavlovsk), Zhambyl Oblysy (Taraz)
note: administrative divisions have the same names as their administrative centers (exceptions have the administrative center name following in parentheses); in 1995 the Governments of Kazakhstan and Russia entered into an agreement whereby Russia would lease for a period of 20 years an area of 6,000 sq km enclosing the Baykonur space launch facilities and the city of Bayqongyr (Baykonyr, formerly Leninsk)
16 December 1991 (from the Soviet Union)
National holiday:
Republic Day, 25 October (1990)
adopted by national referendum 30 August 1995; first post-independence constitution was adopted 28 January 1993
Legal system:
based on civil law system
18 years of age; universal
Executive branch:
chief of state: President Nursultan A. NAZARBAYEV (chairman of the Supreme Soviet from 22 February 1990, elected president 1 December 1991)
head of government: Prime Minister Imangali TASMAGAMBETOV (since 28 January 2002)
cabinet: Council of Ministers appointed by the president
election results: Nursultan A. NAZARBAYEV reelected president; percent of vote - Nursultan A. NAZARBAYEV 81.7%, Serikbolsyn ABDILDIN 12.1%, Gani KASYMOV 4.7%, Engels GABBASSOV 1.5%
note: President NAZARBAYEV expanded his presidential powers by decree: only he can initiate constitutional amendments, appoint and dismiss the government, dissolve Parliament, call referenda at his discretion, and appoint administrative heads of regions and cities
elections: president elected by popular vote for a seven-year term; election last held 10 January 1999, a year before it was previously scheduled (next to be held NA 2006); note - President NAZARBAYEV's previous term was extended to 2000 by a nationwide referendum held 30 April 1995; prime minister and first deputy prime minister appointed by the president
Legislative branch:
bicameral Parliament consists of the Senate (39 seats - previously 47 seats; 7 senators are appointed by the president; other members are popularly elected, two from each of the 14 oblasts, the capital of Astana, and the city of Almaty, to serve six-year terms) and the Majilis (77 seats; 10 out of the 77 Majilis members are elected from the winning party's lists; members are popularly elected to serve five-year terms)
election results: note - the election results are for the old Senate structure; Senate - percent of vote by party - NA%; seats by party - NA; 16 seats up for election in 1999, candidates nominated by local councils; Majilis - percent of vote by party - NA%; seats by party - Otan 23, Civic Party 13, Communist Party 3, Agrarian Party 3, People's Cooperative Party 1, independents 34; note - most independent candidates are affiliated with parastatal enterprises and other pro-government institutions
elections: Senate - (indirect) last held 17 September 1999 (next to be held NA December 2005); Majilis - last held 10 and 24 October and 26 December 1999 (next to be held NA 2004)
Judicial branch:
Supreme Court (44 members); Constitutional Council (7 members)
Political parties and leaders:
Agrarian Party [Romin MADINOV]; Alash [Sabet-Kazy AKATAY]; AZAMAT "Citizen" Movement [Petr SVOIK, Murat AUEZOV, and Galym ABILSEITOV, cochairmen]; Civic Party [Azat PERUASHEV, first secretary]; Communist Party or KPK [Serikbolsyn ABDILDIN, first secretary]; Forum of Democratic Forces [a union of opposition parties, movements, and NGOs which includes Communists, RNPK, Orleu "Development" Movement, Pokoleniye "Generation" Pensioners' Movement, Labor Movement, Association of Independent Mass Media of Central Asia, and the Tabighat "Nature" Ecological Movement]; Labor and Worker's Movement [Madel ISMAILOV, chairman]; Orleu "Development" Movement [Seidakhmet KUTTYKADAM]; Otan "Fatherland" [Sergei TERESCHENKO, chairman]; Pensioners Movement or Pokoleniye [Irina SAVOSTINA, chairwoman]; People's Congress of Kazakhstan of NKK [Olzhas SULEIMENOV, chairman]; People's Cooperative Party of Kazakhstan [Umirzak SARSENOV]; Republican People's Party of Kazakhstan or RNPK [Akezhan KAZHEGELDIN]; Socialist Party [Petr SVOIK]; United Democratic Party (a new party not yet registered) [leader NA]
Political pressure groups and leaders:
Adil-Soz [Tamara KALEYEVA]; Democratic Choice of Kazakhstan [Galymzhan ZHAKIYANOV, Uraz ZHANDOSOV, Nurzhan SUBKHANBERDIN, Mukhtar ABLYAZOV, Zhanat YERTLESOVA, Bulat ABILOV, cofounders]; Kazakhstan International Bureau on Human Rights [Yevgeniy ZHOVTIS, executive director]
International organization participation:
AsDB, CCC, CIS, EAPC, EBRD, ECE, ECO, ESCAP, FAO, IAEA, IBRD, ICAO, IDA, IDB, IFAD, IFC, IFRCS (associate), ILO, IMF, IMO, Interpol, IOC, IOM (observer), ISO, ITU, NAM (observer), OAS (observer), OIC, OPCW, OSCE, PFP, UN, UNCTAD, UNESCO, UNIDO, UPU, WCL, WFTU, WHO, WIPO, WMO, WToO, WTrO (observer)
Diplomatic representation in the US:
chief of mission: Ambassador Kanat B. SAUDABAYEV
chancery: 1401 16th Street NW, Washington, DC 20036
consulate(s): New York
FAX: [1] (202) 232-5845
telephone: [1] (202) 232-5488
Diplomatic representation from the US:
chief of mission: Ambassador Larry C. NAPPER
embassy: 99/97A Furmanova Street, Almaty, Republic of Kazakhstan 480091
mailing address: American Embassy Almaty, Department of State, Washington, DC 20521-7030
telephone: [7] (3272) 63-39-21, 50-76-23, 50-76-27 (emergency number)
FAX: [7] (3272) 50-62-69
Flag description:
sky blue background representing the endless sky and a gold sun with 32 rays soaring above a golden steppe eagle in the center; on the hoist side is a "national ornamentation" in gold


Economy - overview:
Kazakhstan, the largest of the former Soviet republics in territory, excluding Russia, possesses enormous fossil fuel reserves as well as plentiful supplies of other minerals and metals. It also is a large agricultural - livestock and grain - producer. Kazakhstan's industrial sector rests on the extraction and processing of these natural resources and also on a growing machine-building sector specializing in construction equipment, tractors, agricultural machinery, and some defense items. The breakup of the USSR in December 1991 and the collapse in demand for Kazakhstan's traditional heavy industry products resulted in a short-term contraction of the economy, with the steepest annual decline occurring in 1994. In 1995-97, the pace of the government program of economic reform and privatization quickened, resulting in a substantial shifting of assets into the private sector. Kazakhstan has enjoyed double-digit growth in 2000-01 thanks largely to its booming energy sector, but also to economic reform, good harvests, and foreign investment. The opening of the Caspian Consortium pipeline in 2001, from western Kazakhstan's Tengiz oilfield to the Black Sea, substantially raises export capacity. Astana has embarked upon an industrial policy designed to diversify the economy away from overdependence on the oil sector by developing light industry.
purchasing power parity - $98.1 billion (2001 est.)
GDP - real growth rate:
12.2% (2001 est.)
GDP - per capita:
purchasing power parity - $5,900 (2001 est.)
GDP - composition by sector:
agriculture: 10%
industry: 30%
services: 60% (2000 est.)
Population below poverty line:
26% (2001 est.)
Household income or consumption by percentage share:
lowest 10%: 3%
highest 10%: 27% (2001)
Distribution of family income - Gini index:
35 (1996)
Inflation rate (consumer prices):
8.5% (2001 est.)
Labor force:
8.4 million (1999)
Labor force - by occupation:
industry 30%, agriculture 20%, services 50% (2001 est.)
Unemployment rate:
10% (2001 est.)
revenues: $4.2 billion
expenditures: $5.1 billion, including capital expenditures of $NA (2001 est.)
oil, coal, iron ore, manganese, chromite, lead, zinc, copper, titanium, bauxite, gold, silver, phosphates, sulfur, iron and steel, tractors and other agricultural machinery, electric motors, construction materials
Industrial production growth rate:
11.4% (2001 est.)
Electricity - production:
48.692 billion kWh (2000)
Electricity - production by source:
fossil fuel: 86%
hydro: 14%
other: 0% (2000)
nuclear: 0%
Electricity - consumption:
48.336 billion kWh (2000)
Electricity - exports:
50 million kWh (2000)
Electricity - imports:
3.102 billion kWh (2000)
Agriculture - products:
grain (mostly spring wheat), cotton; wool, livestock
$10.5 billion f.o.b. (2001 est.)
Exports - commodities:
oil and oil products 52.8%, ferrous metals 12.9%, machinery, chemicals, grain, wool, meat, coal (2000)
Exports - partners:
Russia 19.5%, China 7.3%, Germany 6.2% (2000)
$8.2 billion f.o.b. (2001 est.)
Imports - commodities:
machinery and parts 29.5%, energy and fuels 11.3%, electrical equipment 8.8%, vehicles 8.7%, ferrous metals 6.4% (2000)
Imports - partners:
Russia 48.7%, Germany 6.6%, US 5.5% (2000)
Debt - external:
$11.6 billion (2001 est.)
Economic aid - recipient:
$610 million in US assistance programs, 1992-2000
tenge (KZT)
Currency code:
Exchange rates:
tenge per US dollar - 151.14 (January 2002), 146.74 (2001), 142.13 (2000), 119.52 (1999), 78.30 (1998), 75.44 (1997)
Fiscal year:
calendar year